Injury. Eventually, we’re all going to have one. A physical setback of some kind. And we tend to think of the experience only in terms of the physical impact it will have on us, but there’s so much more to it. Whether the injury is due to surgery, overtraining, a fall, an accident, a pregnancy, or whatever the case may be… it’s going to happen and you need to know how to cope.
Let’s get right to the biggest mistake people tend to make when recovering from an injury:
Focusing on how soon you can get your body to be what it was before the injury. Listen, that is just too big of a goal. It’s the wrong thing to do and sets you up for emotional and mental devastation.
See, a physical setback has an impact on every area of our lives, including our relationships. Here’s why…
What we do — our behaviors, actions, the way we move through the world — relates to our physicality.
I always tell people the best antidepressant is to just get out and move. So when you have an injury and you’re not moving in the same way, it negatively impacts the balance of chemicals in your brain.
Having experienced countless physical setbacks, myself, from
- Being a risk taker
- Trying to learn new things
- Teaching fitness classes
…here’s how, I feel, it’s best to cope.
1) You’ve got to move your body in some way.
The all-or-nothing mindset will keep you injured and down longer. You have to remember that, with almost rare exception, there’s always something you can do. For example, let’s imagine you’ve thrown out your back and you can’t even get up out of bed. What, then, would you do?
Move your hands and feet! You can also learn breathing techniques which increase BDNF production (in the brain) — which is exactly what happens when you exercise!
2) Maintain your routine as much as possible.
Knowing this, in recent years when I’ve had a setback, it made the experience much less of a big deal. These days, I really frame it as a blessing.
When I ripped my hamstring off the bone a few years ago, there were, sure, some negative consequences. But right away, knowing I had been there before, I thought,
“Okay, what are the blessings?”
And as soon as I was able to, literally three days later, I wanted to get back to my usual routine.
So, with the leg in a full locked in cast and crutches, I went to the gym. Could I do cardio? Nope. Try leg day? Nope. How about some upper body exercises? Yep. And that’s what happened. I just did what I could do. I wasn’t attempting to be back where I was. My goal was just to do something. That’s your goal, too.
When you do nothing as a result of an injury, you’re actually regressing and making things a whole lot worse.
For a BONUS tip on how to cope, plus why your body is smarter than your brain and the role inflammation plays on our injuries, you MUST listen to this episode of The Chalene Show!
And if you’re looking for weekly hacks on how to get your whole life right — from relationships to diet to personal development to fitness to mental health to beauty, then subscribe to TCS now!